Moderator Chris Hardwick

Scott M. Gimple, Chief Content Officer

Angela Kang, Showrunner and Executive Producer

Greg Nicotero

Norman Reedus

Melissa McBride

Ross Marquand

Khary Payton

The season 10 finale which never aired will premier Sunday, October 4th at 9 p.m., followed by the series premier of The Walking Dead: World Beyond and an all new episode of The Talking Dead.

We saw that Beta is coming and walkers are acting strangely?

Angela: Beta is being Beta and he was use to Alpha telling him what to do. We learned about him and he’s had to find some other voice to tell him what he needs to do now being the Beta Alpha hybrid. He and Alpha talked about liking the walkers and the sound of the walkers because he soothed him.

Greg directed the season ten finale.

Greg: I love the last few shots of episode 15 with Beta and the thousand of walkers advancing on the towers. I have to give Angela and the writers a huge thumbs up. It felt like every episode gave you something more than the episode before. It was a great ride. We know the people know how to move within the heard putting the walker guts but never had to maneuver in a herd with human beings mixed in. They can’t be as stealthy because the Whispers are in the group of walkers.

Daryl is dealing with a lot, what was the most interesting part of the arc?

Norman: There were a lot of trust issues with Carol. It’s like watching a friend have multiple breakdowns and act on them but its also putting members of the group in danger and losing people. There was that sort of heartbreak there. With Michonne leaving and he promises her he’d take care of the children and trying to play daddy and trying to support his friends while taking care of the group while being attacked. Mentally it was pretty exhausting having to go from all directions but it was a hard thing for Daryl to watch his friend go through that. Also, keep up appearances for Judith that he’s there for her as well. He had to be in a lot of different places at once. He basically said, leave me alone I have a house in the woods and if you left me alone and I got a dog. He’s a character that will always be there but he’s always being brought in. He’s constantly being put in situations and apart of him likes being Uncle Daryl. He has moments with Judith and the snowball fight we had when we came back to Alexandria, those moments of kindhearted laughter he needs that as well. He’s never really the guy that initiates them.

Is Daryl itching for a rematch with Beta?

Norman: I don’t know he’s a big guy. Me personally, Norman, there is that kind of ‘come get me’ that we joke between each other but I took a lot of Excedrin the day after that first fight.

Khary: That’s saying something because most people don’t realize that guy is HUGE!

Norman: He’s a big guy.

People are worried about RJ and Judith, who would be the best guardian candidates?

Scott: The real reason I won’t answer that is, if you look at Judith’s history of parents and guardians, they are the one in danger. Judith can take care of herself and RJ. Anyone gets in that position with Judith, she came in under a crazy situation. I’m not as worried about RJ and Judith as I am the people taking care of them.

How would you compare Carol from the beginning to the end of the season.

Melissa: She is in the same place but different, same water different boat. I don’t know. She’s trying to make some amends for where she left out. She was out getting respite and perspective and get out of the eye of the storm. She comes back and is blinded by this enormous grief and to the detriment of her friendship with Daryl. She blows up a lot of things. What I loved about the end episode is the talk she had with Kelly and she needed that so badly to remind herself that she is a lone wolf and to not lose yourself and embrace that and be okay with it.

Norman: I can hear you now by the way.

Angela: They are starting from a bad place and the thing about Daryl and Carol is that they have one of the coolest relationships on the show. It is fun to write for Norman and Melissa. It is complicated, they can be real in ways not that others can which means the hurt runs deeper. You start from one point and they have a long road to travel. We are writing some stuff so we will see where they land.

Ezekiel, running away or running toward adventure?

Khary: A little bit from column A and a little bit from column B. I think there are aspects of his life that he wants to leave behind. He has failed relationships, memories of loved ones that have come and gone and a community build that has been toppled. I think he is looking for a fresh start. He is a guy that has a clock on him. He has that tick tock in his brain that says he is not long in this world. And in this world where no one has much time he feels like he has less since he has cancer. He is going to fit his bucket list some way some how. He is taking a dive into the unknown. Sometimes there is no planning it. They say you never know how far the road stretches in front of you and in this case he started peddling so lets see how far he goes.

What is keeping him hopeful?

Khary: The adversity gives him hope, even that thing on his neck gives him hope. That’s one more thing that hasn’t stopped him yet. I think you can get beaten down by an avalanche of things that come your way and you can let them fall on top of you or let them fall and get out of the way and climb on top. Use all of that crap to stand up on top of it and take you higher. For me, I see him looking at all this happening in his life and all this loss and all the times he was suppose to die and it hasn’t gotten him yet. Moving forward, every obstacle in his path he can point to this thing on his neck and say ‘what else are you going to do to me?’ – to me that’s my character in a nutshell. He started off being positive in his search for the light and he’s becoming more aggressive now in his search for his light. The Kingdom was this thing he radiated out for someone to come and find the light, now he’s grasping for it.

Aaron is separated and meets the mask stranger?

Ross: It’s a huge introduction to a character like when we see Michonne. I’m happy to see it all come together because its exciting but looks like something out of a horror movie.

If Judith had told Daryl the truth would he have followed her?

Norman: Not at that moment. I feel like you have to take care of the kids and the rest of the group. If he followed Michonne at that moment, they could have used his help so no. Michonne can take care of herself.

Ride a tiny size Judith motorcycle for the rest of your life or a unicorn tattoo on your back?

Norman: I did get one of these do it yourself tattoos kit so I’d get the tattoo.

Working with Jeffrey Dean Morgan for the first time?

Melissa: It was very exciting because there was so much anticipation. It was delightful.

How did they make the lump of your neck look so real?

Khary: It was the magic of the Nicoterium. It’s actually a murder hornet bite and that’s how you know we are ahead of the times.

Nicotero: We brought them in. We got a wide of cotton and shoved it down his throat. We actually had two prosthetic pieces so one was a full wrap around and it went underneath his wig and up to his hairline and then we had a stick on.

Ross get a new love interest?

Ross: Aaron came very close with Jesus hinting with some sort of relationship. At this point there are so many threats coming from so many angles that love isn’t Aaron’s thought process right now. Maybe he shouldn’t have someone because Eric died and Jesus died. Maybe he can just be fond of someone.

The season because of the quarantine?

Angela: Obviously Covid has disrupted a lot of work places including ours and our writers have gone remotely for the past few months. We will get back as soon as we safely can. We won’t be airing season 11 episodes this year as we normally will. But we are excited to announce an extended season 10 and there will be six extra episodes that follow the finale and those will run in early 2021 if all goes well and we are working on those now and will have more to share soon.

Jeffrey Dean Morgan

Lauren Cohan

Josh McDermitt

Seth Gilliam

Paola Lazaro

Lauren Cohan is officially back!

Lauren: Maggie feels like doing Comic Con in her slippers is a great way to go forward. She’s thinking about a casserole and comfy things. What can I tease? Nothing. I think the most important thing is that she is coming back, not just a visit. Its moving from pen pals to real life friends. Her and Carol have been writing each other. I really feel like I never really left on ever level. I was so lucky because I spent a whole month catching up so when Maggie comes in I wasn’t overwhelmed from seeing everyone. It was a good catch up and get to know new cast. I’m interested in learning what it takes to direct, it was mind bending to have the opportunity to learn.

Directing Lauren again?

Nicotero: I went to set early that day and went into her trailer and we started giggling and laughing. Lauren and I got really close and we play guitar online. We have had a lot of great actors come back in cameos, or a day or two but knowing Lauren was coming back as part of the family…when you are part of The Walking Dead family you never truly leave. I was really excited to sit in the trailer and it felt really good and really natural. I learned a lot from Lauren. She taught me a lot about how to work with actors and directing and I took a lot of that and I feel like that made me better.

Lauren: The biggest moment was the circle with Mr. Jeffrey Dean…that’s when we got really close. Not a fun scene but we got close.

Nicotero: Twelve pages of dialogue in one night.

Maggie and Negan seeing each other?

Angela: I mean Negan killed her husband and burned down her house so its not going to be an easy road for either of them. Negan has been on this whole other journey while she was gone. She hasn’t seen any of that. Hilltop was destroyed and the man that was in jail is out walking around. These two have to figure out how to occupy the same space. These two amazing actors and we will try to write to their abilities.

Jeffrey: I mean I did save some of her friends while she has been away. I’m hoping some people stick up for me with her.

Negan has evolved and has a soft spot.

Jeffrey: Negan has a soft spot for the younger generation. I think he has a relationship with young kids because they are very honest. I don’t think he’d shy away from who he is with the kid and deal with it. I think initially Maggie will want to kill him. Negan has gone through such a journey in the last few years and the redemption arc has been amazing. But in there…is still Negan and I’m not sure that will ever go away. He will be walking a fine line, especially from Maggie.

What if Rick and Michonne has decided to kill Negan?

Josh: Boring. We would have had to grow our own tomatoes.

Scott: We talk about the butterfly affect a lot and showed it with Michonne’s last episode. I think if they had killed Negan the conflicts would have been different with the community. Maybe Rick would be dead. Maybe that herd would have run through a community. Maybe the Whispers would have wiped them out. It’s the butterfly effect.

Gabriel has had a tremendous arc.

Seth: I feel great, the more power the better. I think Father Gabriel has embraced the inner voice in him that is the communication with God. He failed the first go around locking his flock outside the church. He thinks God has given him a second chance at leadership and he is going to do the right thing. He made some hard decisions and he didn’t do a lot of consultation and surviving the way he has he feels he has got a purpose. He is justified in listening to his inner voice.

What does Eugene see in Stephanie that he didn’t see in Rosita?

Josh: He hasn’t seen Stephanie so. I don’t know that he’s thought about what she looks like. They have similar interests and connects on a level he didn’t with Rosita. She laughs at his weird references and has some of her own weird references. I think Rosita and Eugene have an awesome relationship now but when we first met them it was a bit more adversarial and built on lies. They were able to get past that but what he is building with Stephanie is a more solid foundation. I think he’s excited about that because she is someone more like minded. It will be interesting to see what they don’t like about each other. Maybe Eugene snores and Stephanie doesn’t like that. I think that if you’ve ever been in a relationship and you grow that’s a place that’s lacking in Eugene’s life. I’m not saying he will be in a relationship but I’m hoping there is more there. He has never really experienced a relationship. I would hope he would get a chance for that.

As Princess, what has it been like for you?

Paola: Honestly, its mostly been online. I don’t leave the house or try not to. Most of the interactions have been online. A apart form my dad saying ‘look there is a stalker at the fence’ my family plays with me. Its been really beautiful because I’ve been able to share with the world something I’ve worked so hard for and share a character that has a huge heart. I’ve always been a transparent person and me sharing my struggles with the audiences and its created a beautiful conversation with them. I’d love to have scenes with Negan because both of our characters are wild and I have to admit my favorite character is Carol. I just want Carol to like Princess, I’m a big fan of Carol.

How is this quarantine affecting the show?

Angela: These are unprecedented times and we are trying to approach things with the best creativity we can. At the same time sometimes the limits that are placed on you bring out creativity. We still have a lot to do. We want everyone comfortable shooting and safe when we do it. It’s not a huge burden for us, we get to sit and make up stories in our heads and these actors bring them to life.

Hershel meeting Judith.

Lauren: I want to meet little Hershel! I have watched this season be such a torch with how the writers have written young people and see the world through these young peoples eyes. I feel really excited because Kaylee is so good and who ever we find for Hershel is going to start some illuminating conversations. I’m super jazzed.

Does Negan want Lucille back or get a new weapon and call it Rick?

Jeffrey: That could be a step back. Look, I think it would be great to get Lucille back but we may have moved past that at this point. I tend to forget how long its been since I’ve seen Lucille. In The Walking Dead era its been ten years. We will see, I wouldn’t be scared to see and hold her again. In the comic book when he loses Lucille, I miss that scene, we never got to do that scene and I’ve always loved it. Lucille represented so much to him beyond a baseball bat wrapped in barbed wire. We’ve moved so far from that, we will have to see what Scott and Angela do with that.

What do you miss most about being on set?

Josh: Filling my arms with JDF musk. The guy smells great.

Jeffrey: I miss Josh’s timing is what I miss.

Is there anything playing Father Gabriel that’s been difficult to adjust to?

Seth: Wearing all that black. I go back and think I’m comfortable with it and then the heat, it’s brutal. I’m gamy, sweating and no matter how much Axe I spray. The eyeball I love, it takes two or three minutes to put it in and I get babied by the staff about it. It’s a cool look.

What animal companion would you get and the name?

Paola: I would want an animal named Risky and I’d want an eagle that can fly above the walkers. Less chance of getting bit.

If you could create a series with one character who would you chose?

Scott: I’d go right to Glenn because I miss working with Steven and it would be funny. I will say we are working where we are looking at past characters. We are looking at where we can take a peak early into the apocalypse. 

How will you continue to include diversity in the show?

Angela: I think inclusion is a core value of The Walking Dead showing people from all walks of life. The message is that there is no one type of person to be a survivor. I think its part of the message of the show, its not what we do to put on a public face. We try to ensure it by continually hiring amazing actors looking for diversity from all axis. We do that behind the camera as well.

Excited to see in the finale?

Angela: Its been a million years since we worked on it. Greg did an amazing job directing it and the actors and I’m excited for people to see what happens with Beta, Carol and her revenge arc, Daryl and his leadership role, the commonwealth group and come to a pretty cool point on their journey, return of Maggie and Negan has a key role. I’m really excited to see the whole group doing their thing and face what is in front of them.

Nicotero: The last five minutes takes it to a whole new place.



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About the Author

Jeri Jacquin

Jeri Jacquin covers film, television, DVD/Bluray releases, celebrity interviews, festivals and all things entertainment.